First K-9 officer joins North Fayette police

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A dog has joined the North Fayette police department, and township supervisors got to meet the new officer Tuesday.

Nevo, the township’s first K-9, started service May 5.

The dog’s handler, Cpl. Todd Heufelder, introduced Nevo during the supervisors’ meeting Tuesday night.

"Nevo and I, we are still getting to know each other,” said Cpl. Heufelder, who completed a six-week training course with the canine. "Dogs have personalities too, and you have to match personality and work ethics.

“I think we're a good match."

Police Chief Mark O’Donnell said the dog will track scents, detect drugs and eventually interact with people in the community.

Until the dog becomes acclimated to crowds and his surroundings, Chief O’Donnell said, “we are erring on the side of caution with Nevo, sort of breaking him in."

Nevo already has found narcotics during two calls, one in the township and one in a nearby school district, he said.

North Fayette has raised about $45,000 in grants and donations for the dog and related equipment and training, fiscal director Dave Lodovico said.

“Not one cent was paid with taxpayer money,” board Chairman Jim Morosetti said.

Imported from Europe, the 2-year-old male canine is a German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix with an unusual mahogany-colored coat, Cpl. Heufelder said.

The dog lives in North Fayette with Cpl. Heufelder and his family.

The K-9 will be sworn in by District Judge Anthony Saveikis, the chief said.

Cpl. Heufelder said future K-9 tasks will include performing school searches and attending North Fayette’s Community Day in August.

"It's definitely a great addition to the department,” he said.

Andrea Iglar, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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